My Second Trek to the Midwest
Day 14, Saturday, July 7, 2007

Lawrence, Kansas to York, Nebraska
Day's Route Overview:
Today I will head North to Omaha, Nebraska.  My younger two siblings were born here.  A few years back, I had the opportunity to do some work for what was then the Strategic Air Command (SAC) on the southern outskirts of Omaha.  SAC were the people who constantly kept the fully armed B-52's in the air 24/7 during the cold war.

I will cross the Missouri River over into Council Bluffs, Iowa to get a photo for the state.

When I lived in Omaha as a small child, the very early 50's, we celebrated Omaha's Centennial.  They taught us school children a ditty that I can remember a few lines to:

"Long time ago heap big Indian lived on the wide Nebraska plain."
They made big dance on the war path, white men with tomahawk were slain."
"иии (something about peace pipe) иии"
"иии Maha became Omaha."

I don't think that that would stand up to scrutiny of today's sensitivities to both the real history of the conquering of the west not to the way we speak about other ethnic people.

Council Bluffs is supposed to be the place where the "white man and the Indian" sat down and had a peace pow-wow.

Planned 460 miles, actual 330 miles

Starting out: Trip / Odometer / Time: 58.5 / 43,482 / 8:23 AM PDT

Topeka, Kansas is my first destination for today.  I have some friends who live on SW High Ave, Topeka, Kansas.

They have a very nice house, comfortable and welcoming.  We were able to visit for a while.


After visiting, we all went down to the local Harley dealership.

This is a remarkable place.  It has a very nice restaurant, albeit with a limited menu, but the food was good and very much in keeping with the clientele.

In the basement, there was a surprise.  It has one of the nicer museums of Harley motorcycles that I have come upon.  There are 40-50 motorcycles some dating back to World War II, all of which look like they are in good, running condition.

Topeka Harley-Davidson, 2047 SW Topeka Blvd, Topeka, Kansas 66612
Open Tuesday thru Saturday, topekaharley.com, 785-234-6174




They just recently redid the top of the Kansas capital building.  There were going to put a statue of Ceres, the Greek goddess of agricultural fertility.  However, they decided that they should honor the local Indians instead.
From Topeka, it is a straight shot up highway 75 to Omaha.  Along the way, I was able to make up for the "C" county I had planned but missed several days ago.  Cass County, Nebraska
Three Perkins Restaurants locations in Omaha, the birthplace of my sister.  My sister and her two daughters.

Three?  Coincidence?  I think not!

Back in the dark days of the cold war, I worked on a project that was for the folks at Offutt Air Force Base just south of Omaha, Nebraska.  When I was working there, they had fully loaded B-52s in the air all the time flying out of Omaha and dwelling on the northern border over the Dakotas.  They were always ready to turn and go over the North Pole to deliver very bad things.

I passed by the old SAC headquarters today and took some photos of the B-52 as the north entrance to the base.  This is an actual airplane that flew missions for 45 years.  It was the oldest in the fleet there at Offutt and they thought that it did not have too many years before it would become unsafe to continue flying.

It is a closed base, meaning that you can't get on without permission.  I no longer can go and see my old haunting grounds.


Council Bluffs, Iowa is right across the Missouri River from Omaha, Nebraska.  I can't resist poking my nose over the bridge to pick up the state of Iowa.  It turns out that finding a sign with the word "Iowa" on it is difficult.  I'm thinking that the building managers think if you don't know what state you are in then to heck with you anyway.
Council Bluffs, Iowa is the county seat of Pottawattamie County.  This is such an interesting name, I can't pass it up.
Council Bluffs Post Office, 8 S. 6th Street, Council Bluffs, Iowa 51502 does not have any name on it.
Council Bluffs does have a memorial to all the local veterans who lost their lives in the various wars including the present one.  It was quite moving.
Frontier Harley-Davidson 205 N.W. 40th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska 68528 Open Monday thru Sunday, frontierhd.com, 402-466-9100

They were long closed when I came bombing by.

Done for the day: Trip / Odometer / Time: 108.0 / 43,812 / 7:40 PM
I'm deducting 3 hours spent while visiting with friends today.

ABC Letters: New States: Nebraska, Iowa

Day's Totals: 330 miles, 7 hours 57 minutes
Trip Totals: 4,917 miles, 120 hours 12 minutes

Overview Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Updated: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 12:14:42 PM